Franchise reviews are a source of free organic content and traffic for your business. They also provide effective advertising that creates a positive impact on your brand. When potential customers read a positive franchise business review, it increases their trust and confidence in your business. This effect potentially boosts your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and conversion rates.
Franchisees need to include online review management in their overall franchise SEO strategy to reap these benefits. However, besides encouraging local franchises to get more online reviews, these businesses face significant challenges.
Marketing Challenges Faced by Franchises
As franchise businesses implement local reputation management solutions, they will encounter a few roadblocks. Local branches need to learn how to get online reviews, implement franchise reputation management strategies to meet their unique needs, maximize the use of customer satisfaction surveys and stay consistent with brand messaging.
- Consistency in Brand Messaging: The overall brand message, promos and offers across the board should be similar. However, the local franchise SEO strategy should be tweaked to match each franchise’s individual marketing needs.
- Addressing the Marketing Needs of Each Outlet: Each dealer, location and outlet in your franchise network will have unique needs and opportunities. For instance, some outlets will sell particular products better and gain customer praise, while some may struggle and need to work on local reputation management.
- Collaboration Difficulties: Standardizing your online review management strategy across various locations can be challenging without a dedicated franchise reputation management team. Working with a seasoned review management company gives you access to resources that get the word out fast and ensures each franchisee has access to the franchise SEO strategy tools they need.
- Establishing Marketing Synergy: All franchise partners need to work together to bring out the unique brand voice of the entire business. Again, this level of cooperation can be best achieved when you work with an experienced local reputation management agency.
When you overcome these challenges, each franchisee will clearly understand the value of every franchise business review and how it contributes to local SEO efforts.
What Is Local SEO and How Does It Help Franchises?
Local SEO is a strategy that boosts your brand’s visibility in local search results. In contrast to traditional SEO, local SEO for franchises focuses on capturing search territory within a specific localized area. Traditional SEO, as we know it, improves visibility on a global or national scale.
Using customized local SEO for franchises allows you to reach out to more customers within each storefront’s service area. One of the effective ways to boost brand awareness and consumer trust is to get more online reviews.
- Customers spend 31 percent more in a store with excellent reviews (Bigcommerce, 2022).
- 93 percent of consumers trust online reviews (Podium, 2022).
Why Is a Review Generation Strategy So Important for Franchises?
Your company’s review generation strategy includes all the tactics, tools and methods employed to get more online reviews. Your strategy allows you to differentiate your brand from your competitors in the local market.
Consumers are 68 percent more willing to patronize businesses with favorable reviews. In addition, developing a customized franchise business review strategy builds your online reputation while gaining more customers.
Review generation strategy development entails several crucial steps to help you get more reviews on social media and other portals:
- Determine your current reputation: Using effective online review management tools, you can survey brand mentions and estimate the level of your current brand reputation.
- Establish objectives: Next, you want to determine specific goals such as the target rating for each franchise location, the number of reviews per month, priority review portals, the number of product reviews you want to generate from sales and reasonable expectations in the coming months or quarter.
- Optimize tools and resources: Using local SEO for franchises, you need to optimize your resources. This is where you ask your team how to get online reviews. Your tools, such as customer satisfaction surveys and review monitoring systems, will also help you generate, track, measure and manage the reviews.
How To Generate More Franchise Reviews
After establishing goals and fine-tuning your strategy, each franchisee needs to determine how to get online reviews. There are several approaches you can use:
- Determine the Sites and Industry Specific Portals To Generate Reviews
Some review sites are better than others. Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager, identified the following as the best online review sites for franchise businesses:
- Google Business Reviews: This portal is excellent for any business, including franchises. Getting a Google business reviews profile is free, and you take advantage of its massive traffic of 158.03 million unique visitors each year. Further, these reviews’ data will also appear in Google Maps and Search.
- Facebook Online Reviews: Facebook is one of the best portals for generating reviews on social media. You take advantage of its monthly traffic of 85.44 million, which is around 23.1 percent of the U.S. search market.
- Yelp Business Reviews: This portal generates 40.47 million traffic and is best suited for local franchise businesses. Local franchise teams must claim their listing in Yelp business reviews before responding to customers’ posts.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB generates 6.15 million in traffic each month but covers 72.1 percent of the review traffic in the United States.
- Bing Places for Business: This is one of the portals that some franchises have overlooked. It’s well-suited for chain businesses, small enterprises and local franchises. Bing Places for Business allows companies to update their listings and ensure that customers get the correct information.
- Yahoo Local: Getting a listing at Yahoo Local is free, and it’s one of the best sources of strong authority backlinks for your site.
- Ask for Feedback
Clarke also explains that sometimes you just need to ask for client feedback. You can use customer satisfaction surveys, QR codes, email and SMS requests depending on your franchise reputation management strategy.
He also points out that the timing of your review request is crucial. Some of the best times to send those requests include after customers have made a purchase when they’ve indicated that they’re happy with your products, if customers have made repeat orders or when they’ve followed you on social media.
- Respond Professionally to Reviews
Fifty-three percent of customers expect a response when they provide negative feedback. Clarke said that Rize Reviews uses a management strategy where negative reviews are identified and responded to quickly. In addition, the team uses a professional and polite tone when handling negative responses:
“Ask the customer to contact the business offline and try to de-escalate the anger and bad situation. Maybe the person will remove the review later if they fix the situation behind the scenes,” Clarke said.
Your franchise team needs to respond within 24 hours and personalize the response. Even if you didn’t cause the issue, it is appropriate to apologize and address the issue raised by customers immediately.
Using Franchise Reviews in Your Marketing Strategy
Franchise reviews boost brand awareness and build relationships of trust with potential customers, which is why review generation and management should be part of any franchise marketing strategy. A seasoned review management agency like Rize Reviews can help your franchisees make the most of this strategy.
A team of certified restoration specialists running a multi-location restoration enterprise came to Rize in need of help to boost the number of reviews on their site and close more contracts. At the onset, they only had 10 reviews.
Solution: Rize specialists created a custom review widget for this company to improve their review generation.
Results: After the first few months, the restoration firm gained over 44 positive reviews for their West Denver franchise and 20 positive reviews for their Suffolk County Home Services.
Trust the specialists from Rize if you’re interested in generating more positive online reviews for your franchise business. We are a close-knit team specializing in every facet of reputation and review management. To get a quote, fill out this contact form, and our specialists will be happy to answer your questions.